With powerful chemicals and strong odors, plus dust bunnies and mites on the loose, it’s no wonder sensory issues are often significantly worse when your house is cleaned. Cleaning products that contain ammonia, bleach, and pine oil send out toxic fumes that are irritating and can be physically painful to smell and inhale. These days there are many sensory-friendly, earth-friendly cleaning products on store shelves. Brands such as Method, Mrs. Meyers, and Ecover are easier on the senses for kids, adults, and pets, and better for the environment.
Even better for your family and the environment plus more cost-effective, try these cheap, time-testing green cleaning approaches:
- Baking soda, water, and a little coarse Kosher salt are great for scrubbing bathroom porcelain and tile.
- For stains and mildew, apply lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for several minutes before scouring with a scrub brush.
- Make your own disinfectant by mixing 20-30 drops of tea tree oil from the health food store with two cups of water and 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap.
- Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and pour into a spray bottle to clean windows and mirrors. Use newspaper rather than paper towels that can leave streaks. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar try club soda or lemon juice.
- Use baking soda to deodorize carpets, refrigerators, cat litter boxes, and garbage cans.
- Use baking soda with water or vinegar to scrub tubs, stovetops, ovens, and pots and pans. Add kosher salt if you need a stronger abrasive.
- Use vinegar to clean windows and mirrors.
- Clean tarnished silver by lining a bucket or your sink with aluminum foil. Pour in boiling water, some salt and a cup of baking soda. The magic of chemistry will make the foil tarnished and leave you with clean silver. If you do need to hand clean delicate, highly figured silver, use toothpaste and a soft cloth.
- Consider purchasing a HEPA air filtration system and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.